South Africa all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius on Monday announced his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect, Cricket South Africa (CSA) confirmed.
Since making his international debut in 2016, the 33-year-old has represented South Africa across all three formats in 30 T20 Internationals (T20I), 27 One-Day Internationals (ODI) and three Tests. He has also featured in two World Cups.
Pretorius impressed in the T20I arena and holds the record for the best figures by a South African bowler in T20Is with his 5-17 against Pakistan in 2021. Later that year, he went on to pick up nine wickets in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in the UAE. He also has 261 runs to his name at a strike rate of 164.15.
His performances for the Proteas have earned him stints in leagues around the world, including the Indian Premier League, The Hundred, Caribbean Premier League and most recently, the inaugural Betway SA20.
"A few days ago, I made one of the toughest decisions of my cricketing career. I have decided to retire from all forms of international cricket. Growing up, my only goal in life was to play for the Proteas. I didn't know how it was going to happen, but God gave me a talent and a serious will to succeed. The rest was in his hands. I am shifting my focus to T20 and other shorter formats for the rest of my career," Dwaine Pretorius said in an official statement released by CSA.
"Being a free agent will help me achieve the goal of being the best short format player I can be. By doing this, I will be able to have a better balance in my career and family life. I would like to thank everyone who played a big role in my career. These are all the coaches, trainers and physios who supported me," he said.
Pretorius added that throughout his career, the players he has played with and against left a deep impact on his career.
"All the players I have played with and against over the years you have had an impact on my career. It's so difficult to highlight only one or two because there are so many players that had an impact, but I can mention a few I was fortunate to spend a lot of time with:Hardus Viljoen, Chris Morris, Nicky van den Bergh, Rassie Van Der Dussen, Steven Cook, Tabraiz Shamsi, Anrich Nortje, Neil Mackenzie and a special mention has to go to Andrea Agathagelou, we spent hours and hours training together in an effort to reach our goal in playing for the Proteas. Without a doubt I would not be where I am today without all your help and support," Pretorius added.
Expressing his gratitude for the support he received from his family, Pretorious credited former South Africa skipper Faf Du Plessis with helping him become a better player.
"A special mention goes to Faf Du Plessis, who brought me back after being let go from the international side the first time and who backed me and helped me become a better player; thank you. To my Mom, Dad and Brother. During my early cricket playing days you made so many sacrifices to help me reach my dream. Driving all over North West and South Africa supporting me, spending December holidays next to the cricket field and so much more. Without your support I would have never gotten to where I am. Lastly my Wife and son. You have supported me all the way, never letting me feel bad about being away for weeks and months at a time. No matter how hard it was, you always kept encouraging and supporting me," Pretorius said.
He said every time he represented the Proteas, he gave his everything for them. He thanked his fans for their support and love and making his career 'extra special'.
"I leave the Proteas team knowing that every time I stepped onto the field, I gave everything I had in me. From playing with broken toes, fingers and torn muscles, to carrying drinks, team meetings and helping other players wherever I could. It has been a blast. Thank you to all the fans for your support and love. You made it extra special," Pretorius said.
"We would like to thank Dwaine for all his services to South African cricket. He has always represented the badge with the utmost pride, determination and commitment, leaving everything on the field every time he pulled on the Proteas shirt. His all-round ability added to his value as a player and his quality will no doubt be missed. Go well Dwaine, we wish you well in the next step of your career," CSA Director of Cricket Enoch Nkwe said.
(with inputs from ANI)